What Does A Music Producer Do?
A music producer is to the music industry what a film director is to the film industry. They oversee the entire process of creating songs that will hopefully sell well with their respective audiences. From crafting the lyrics of the song to choosing the artists who will sing the song to editing the final product to promoting the song to record labels, music producers are there every step of the way. They are responsible for the music that we hear on the radio and the hits that are performed by popular singers and bands on well-attended concert stages around the world.
In a typical day, music producers may spend time listening to songs presented to them by composers and songwriters. They may also make alterations on the arrangement of a particular song so that it has a higher chance of being a hit with its intended market. Producers have an ear for determining the kind of arrangements and even lyrics that will be well-accepted by listeners so this step is something that they take seriously. Some producers even create the music themselves if they don’t find any suitable music from those that are given to them.
Music producers then determine the best artist who will interpret the song. Singers have their own distinct genres and producers determine if a singer will be able to “own” the song and make it a hit. They make this decision based on what they know about each artist and their potential to carry the song to the top of the charts. This is no easy task due to the sheer number of singers that they have to choose from so this is also a time-consuming process. Sometimes, they may also audition new artists if they feel that a song needs to be interpreted by a newcomer in the industry. In many cases, the match that a music producer makes between an artist and a song can launch an unknown singer to stardom. Such is the power that a music producer holds.
When the artist starts recording the song, music producers are usually present in the studio as well. They give tips to the singers as they record the song so that it will sound the way they want it to. For example, they may tell the artist to give more emotion to the song or sing parts of it a pitch higher or lower or move some distance from the microphone so that the words don’t sound muffled. They may also work with audio engineers in mixing and mastering the sounds. They will also play a role in editing the song afterwards. Most music producers also have technical knowledge about audio mixing.
Music producers may work for a recording studio, record label or be self-employed. Those who are connected to a studio will take care of its day-to-day activities in addition to their work with artists. Part of the work of producers who are hired by record labels is to search for new and fresh talent. Those who are self-employed typically represent artists and will work to get them a contract deal with a record label.
The work of music producers may also involve promoting the song and the artist. They schedule the artist for gigs and guest appearances in various television and radio shows. They may also organize major concerts across different states and even internationally to promote the album and increase album sales. Producers have to be financially savvy because they also play a role in making sure that the music, album or concerts they produce are within set budgets. This part of the job requires that producers have a hand in the project’s finances and accounting since they don’t just make albums, they also make music videos which also require extensive budgets.
Music producers must study all contracts they make with artists before signing them. Contracts spell out what their responsibilities are to the singers they represent as well detail how, when and how much they will be paid. For example, a contract clarifies the producer’s role—e.g. whether the producer will be working with the artist on the recording alone or will be playing a hand in the mixing as well.
Another point that should be made very clear in the contract is pay and how it is going to be structured. Music producers should see to it that all parties understand the contents of the contract beforehand so that the work of music creation will proceed without any hitches.